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13/11/17 00:01

UK budget must support economic growth

Call for measures to offset Brexit threat.

The UK Government must use this year’s Autumn Budget to support economic growth in the wake of continued Brexit uncertainty and set out measures to protect households from further austerity.

In a letter to the Chancellor, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has called on the UK Government to abandon their failed austerity agenda which disproportionately hurts the poorest and most vulnerable in our society as he sets out Scotland’s economic priorities.

The Finance Secretary has called on the UK Government to take the following measures to help grow Scotland’s economy and protect public services:

  • Reverse plans for an additional £3.5bn cuts
  • Provide certainty over the future of EU funding and address the threat facing our economy as a result of Brexit
  • Ensure Scotland gets its fair share of funding after the DUP Deal
  • Ensure a fair deal for Scottish Farmers through allocation of Common Agriculture Policy convergence uplift to Scotland
  • Give Scotland’s railways with a fair deal and reverse planned £600m cut
  • Provide sufficient funds to lift the 1% public sector pay cap
  • Allow Police and Fire Services to recover £35m annual VAT bill, address Alcohol Duty and Air Departure Tax
  • Prioritise Renewables and North Sea Oil and Gas
  • Develop a co-ordinated approach to City and Regional Deals
  • Pause the roll-out of Universal Credit and review the payments, reverse cuts to Child Tax Credits, reconsider the reduction to ESA work-related activity and unfreeze the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates.
  • Provide £40 million support for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS)

 Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said:

“Scotland is suffering from the economic uncertainty caused by impending Brexit, ideological cuts and economic incompetence from the UK Government

“Across so many policy areas, the short-changing of Scotland is increasingly blatant and contemptible. This budget gives the Chancellor an opportunity to repair some of the damage and put right injustices that the government he belongs to have created.

“The Scottish Government remains steadfast in its opposition to the UK Government’s austerity agenda which disproportionately hurts the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

“The Chancellor must reverse his plans to cut an additional £3.5bn, halt his £600m reduction for Scotland’s Railways and finally address the issue of Police and Fire VAT that has cost Scotland’s emergency services £140m to date.

“I am calling on the Chancellor to use his Autumn Budget to recognise the serious challenges we are facing as a result of Brexit. He must bring forward substantial measures to boost the economy and ease the pressure on the public sector and those who work in it.

“I have provided a consistent and comprehensive case for a better settlement for Scotland, and expect the Chancellor to respond positively.”